Mikel Arteta ruled out of Arsenal opener against Aston Villa and could face six weeks out with thigh injury
Midfielder suffered a tear to his quadricep and adds to Arsene Wenger's increasing injury woes with just four fit defenders
Mikel Arteta will miss Arsenal’s opening game of the season and could also be ruled out for up to six weeks after it was revealed he has suffered a thigh injury on the eve of the new Premier League season.
The midfielder was due to lead out the Gunners in their opening fixture against Aston Villa in the absence of club captain Thomas Vermaelen, but a tear to his quadricep means German defender Per Mertesacker will take the armband as manager Arsene Wenger looks to cope with the lack of fit players he has at his disposal.
Wenger said Arteta would undergo a scan on Thursday to assess the extent of the injury, but hopes of a small strain were soon extinguished after it showed a tear in the muscle.
An injury of that type should rule him out for at least a month, and comes as a double blow with the news that transfer target Luiz Gustavo has agreed to join Wolfsburg, meaning the north London club will start the campaign without a recognised holding midfielder and just four fit defenders.
In Wenger’s pre-match press conference earlier today, he confirmed that his squad is looking quite bare at the moment, and identified the need to bring in players to strengthen the team.
Wenger said: “Vermaelen is out. Monreal is out. Arteta will be out. Monreal will return soon - the others are a bit longer.
“I don't know [how long Arteta will be out for],” he went on to admit after being pressed on the injury news.
Bacary Sagna is also facing a race to be fit for tomorrow’s match, although the progress of right-back Carl Jenkinson last season will have fans a little more relaxed over the defensive crisis than in the past few seasons.
Arteta had previously told The Sun that the squad last year wasn’t good enough to match their ambition, and would require strengthening before the new season – something they have so far failed to do.
“Last year, this squad wasn't wasn't good enough to challenge for the league,” Arteta said.
“We suffered a lot of injuries in the last few years and couldn't always put out a consistent team for 10 or 15 games in a row.
“I am convinced there will be signings this summer. We already have a very strong team - and if we get new faces they will be welcome.”
Latest in Sport
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove